Monday, June 25, 2012

Health Matters - And Health Care for All?

As we cover various matters in health, we need to focus on a very important topic - access to care or our health. You may have heard of the many great health care programs in Canada, Cuba, Europe, Netherlands, etc. This week is a big one as the Supreme Court prepares to issue its ruling on President Obama’s signature health care law. Here is a brief look at various health care systems that are in place throughout the world. However, let's begin with a look at what the President wants to pass into law here is the United States of America.

For more Health Reform

Friday, June 15, 2012

Happy Fathers Day - An Amazing Man!!!

While I tooted my own horn on Mother's Day, I am extremely thrilled to pull out the bull horn on Father's Day for the most incredible man I know. Fathers are quite essential in the making of babies. However, it takes a very special kind of Father to take on the babies that are not his own.

I use the term babies but my children were not technically babies. They are my babies even though they are now all grown and in college. As a divorced mother with three children, I happen to be quite blessed to have met someone who was a perfect match.

He was not a disciplinarian figure but his presence, his demeanor, his words of encouragement was enough to gain a tremendous respect and love from my children.
He is overall consistent. A great son who loves his parents and his mother means the world to him (can you say -- thanks be to God!!!) He is also tops at being a brother, I love their relationship - they're truly brothers. As a father of two fantastic kids, his love, commitment and dedication is outstanding - bar none. In fact, just watching him with his grandmother who is 103 years old is heartwarming.

He is all kinds of wild, fun and adventurous. He loves to ride. He can go hard on his sport bike (Honda CBR 1000) and cruise on his Road King (Harley). He can also get behind a cause and ride his bicycle from New York to Boston for AIDS Awareness. He's participated in many other AIDS and cancer awareness fundraising events, runs, walks, rides - you name it.

He remains calm and acts as though he is not embarrassed when I spin around in church, scream and holler at concerts, dance and just carry on the conga line. He's by my side, laughs with me, talks with me, enthusiastically disagrees with me yet remains buckled in and works through the turbulence.

My husband is my lover, my best friend and above all my King!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Time to Sleep - The Need to Sleep

While you may have heard some people talk about their work ethics and how they don't sleep - as if it's badge of honor, the truth is a lack of sleep can lead to a decline in your overall health and wellness. Yes, I have heard it all, "I'll sleep when I'm dead" and the lack of sleep might just make that sleep time come a little sooner.

According to the National Institute of Health, the amount of sleep each person needs depends on many factors, including age. Infants generally require about 16 hours a day, while teenagers need about 9 hours on average. For most adults, 7 to 8 hours a night appears to be the best amount of sleep, although some people may need as few as 5 hours or as many as 10 hours of sleep each day. Women in the first 3 months of pregnancy often need several more hours of sleep than usual. The amount of sleep a person needs also increases if he or she has been deprived of sleep in previous days. Getting too little sleep creates a "sleep debt," which is much like being overdrawn at a bank. Eventually, your body will demand that the debt be repaid. We don't seem to adapt to getting less sleep than we need; while we may get used to a sleep-depriving schedule, our judgment, reaction time, and other functions are still impaired.

People tend to sleep more lightly and for shorter time spans as they get older, although they generally need about the same amount of sleep as they needed in early adulthood. About half of all people over 65 have frequent sleeping problems, such as insomnia, and deep sleep stages in many elderly people often become very short or stop completely. This change may be a normal part of aging, or it may result from medical problems that are common in elderly people and from the medications and other treatments for those problems. There are many studies that indicates that a lack of sleep is dangerous. Furthermore, experts say that if you feel drowsy during the day, even during boring activities, you haven't had enough sleep. If you routinely fall asleep within 5 minutes of lying down, you probably have severe sleep deprivation, possibly even a sleep disorder.

Here is an interesting discussion moderated by Alana B. Elias Kornfeld at the Forum at the Harvard School of Public Health:

For everything on sleep --> The National Sleep Foundation

Everyone needs sleep

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg Takes A Stand - The Large Soda Ban!

In an effort to address the enormous growth in people who are overweight or obese, New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on selling sodas/sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. Sugary drinks are defined as beverages that are "sweetened with sugar or another caloric sweetener that contain more than 25 calories per 8 fluid ounces and contains less than 51 percent milk or milk substitute by volume as an ingredient."

According to the recent research studies, the public health statistics of New York indicates that 58 percent of New York City adults and nearly 40 percent of city public school students are obese or overweight. Obesity comes with many health risks, illnesses and complications which puts a burden on the cost of health care. I appreciate the Mayor's effort to take on the challenging position to help others make healthier choices and this will be quite the challenge. Unfortunately, there are so many ways that people with bad habits can get around this. Needless to say, there are those who are against the Mayor's proposal and he has been called the Nanny among other things. The plan is to ban them from restaurants and movie theaters where they sell the larger size drinks. This is not sitting well with those who enjoy going to the theater and having a large soda, to go with their big bucket of popcorn and candy. "You mean I can't have my super size soda? Why? I don't have it everyday? I don't go to the movies that often?" "What will happen to the 711 Big Gulp?" I've heard it all. However, the ultimate stand will be up to the individual to take full responsibility in what they consume and how much they will consume. Your health and wellness begins with you.

Keep in mind you can still purchase your sodas at the stores. What's your position?